These are installation shots from my first critique from the middle of October. A portion of my statement is also copied below.
These works show the most recent progression of my practice throughout the last month. Using oil paint, I have been focusing on the figure and creating pieces with the intention of working with different mark-making techniques and color choices, and exploring several subjects that are related thematically, such as pain, vulnerability, fear, relationship, illness, trust, cognitive and emotional development, and the long-term effect of external and internal adversities in early life. The majority of the works, the pieces to the far right, explore ways of clearly portraying the last theme from above – the impact of early adversity on children and their development. The two paintings to the far left were completed before the others. These pieces are intended to be an example of the exploration of the last month that led to the pieces on the far right.
All the works are based on childhood photographs. These references were used in order to maintain a strong personal connection to the subjects and are also a continuance of my personal investigation into recognizing early mental, emotional, and physical disorder behaviors within the photos themselves. The subjects in these pieces are children – both toddlers and babies used from the reference photos. I gravitate toward children in my work because of their unique naiveté and ability to be easily influenced and molded throughout their early development.
The external and internal experiences children go through, as well as those things that fall under the nature and nurture of children, directly affect the shape of their character, identity, and long-term health. Experiences of adversity or illness or abuse lead to insecurities, vulnerabilities, and dysfunctional behavior.
The erasure of portions of the images—their limbs, faces, or parts of their faces—are meant to imply these imperfections, dysfunctions, absence, and pain. I have been exploring which specific body parts used alone or put in narrative groups can communicate these themes clearly. There is also a large contrast in some of the pieces where a tender action is met with a pained or disfigured recipient. This content focuses on how some loving actions actually cause pain and affect development negatively.
Artists that have informed this work especially are Sophie Jodoin, Marlene Dumas, Winston Chmielinski, Jenny Saville, and Alex Kanevsky.